George Hart ghart at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Oct 30 16:47:09 UTC 2001

Of course, in modern India, the suffix -daasa does not denote a
Sudra.  But in premodern India, according to Apte and others, -daasa
was a suffix meant for Sudras much as -sarma was (and is) for
Brahmins and -varma for Ksatriyas.  So the question I'd ask Maadhav
(who knows much more Sanskrit than I do) is: are there any known
Brahmin names from before the 5th century AD that end in -daasa?  Of
course, one could suppose that Kaalidaasa was not the poet's original
name and that he took it as a sort of poetic name because of his love
for the Goddess.  Still, it would be interesting to find parallels.
I admit that, given the milieu of the Gupta court and its patronage
of Brahmanical Hinduism, it is a distinct possibility that Kaalidaasa
was a Brahmin.  GH.

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